Zynga sued for patent infringement

Agincourt Games cites numerous Zynga properties for violating prize redemption patents

Zynga is being sued by Agincourt Gaming for patent infringement, Bloomberg reports.

Agincourt filed the lawsuit in a Delaware federal court, citing Zynga's history of imitating other companies' products.

The patents relate to processes for credit card payments and online prize redemption, with Agincourt seeking damages and a court order preventing Zynga from using its practices.

"Agincourt's patents cover the most lucrative aspects of online social gaming – including those comprising the bulk of Zynga's revenues – as they contain the crucial 'link' that allows for global, interactive prize redemption over the Internet," said Bill Carmody, senior partner at Susman Godfrey, the law firm representing Agincourt.

The offending games span the entire Zynga portfolio, including Mafia Wars, FarmVille, CityVille, FrontierVille and Empires & Allies. So far, Zynga has offered no comment on the matter.

Zynga is currently preparing to make an initial public offering valued at $1 billion, and recently acquired mobile developer Astro Ape.

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Latest comments (7)

James Prendergast Research Chemist 6 years ago
Is this another case of a business method being patented? I'm not seeing how you can patent prize redemption*.... If they can win against Zynga then the whole of the online business is on shakey ground since you could equate many different things with "prize redemption" in the gaming space.

*Looking especially at the CC payment quote above.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 18th August 2011 11:45am

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It looks like a case of loydsys rape and pillage of established brands for the maximum scalpin
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Jason Stewart Associate Producer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe6 years ago
Perfect timing from Agincourt?

Slap it in now, right before Zynga make their IPO in the hope they settle fast to get it out the way and not harm their IPO?
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Show all comments (7)
Christopher McCraken CEO/Production Director, Double Cluepon Software6 years ago
The patents in question are software/method patents. Pretty much anyone who uses an MT business model could (and probably will be) sued under these patents.

The Patents in questions are:

6,306,035 and 6,758,755

I'll be in my bunker.
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource6 years ago
The 'real' problem is allowing patents to be established that include the terms 'via the internet' etc.

Giving away prizes has been around for an eternity. So this scum of a company exploits the patent process by creating a patent that says 'giving away prizes OVER THE INTERNET'. The only addition is the internet clause.

In this day and age the internet is no longer new and is a way of life for almost ALL business (and people). And a clause for a patent to be filed is that 'the process has to be unobvious'. Well, we're giving away prizes the way our society has evolved to, using electronic means.

It's time we disallow patents whose process is 'over the internet' as that is no longer considered unobvious!
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gi biz ;, 6 years ago
Maybe it's just my impression, but reading the news on this site I get the impressions that patents are more troubles than anything else.
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Manoel Balbino Programmer, Playlore6 years ago
@Doug: don't forget the patents that simply append "ON A MOBILE PHONE" on absurdly obvious stuff that has been around for decades and call it a day.
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